Billings, Mont. R-CALFUSA CEO Bill Bullard today eagerly accepted an invitation from KSDZ-FM in Gordon, Neb., to a live debate streamed on the Internet at 6:30 p.m. MDT on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, with leaders from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the National Meat Association (NMA). The subject will be the current state of competition in the U.S. cattle and beef industries. KSDZ-FM owner Jim Lambley will serve as moderator of the event.
"R-CALF USA has long maintained that the high level of concentration in the U.S. cattle market enables beef packers to exert buying power that distorts the market, thus enabling them to exploit both cattle producers and consumers, and we believe the current level of industry concentration and the exercise of related buying power continues to cause the exodus of more than 10,000 cattle producers annually, which is a trend we find unacceptable," Bullard said.
"The timing of your debate coincides with the heightened public attention now focused on cattle industry competition, and the other industry representatives whom you have invited hold very different views regarding both the effects of concentration and of buying power," Bullard wrote to Lambley in his RSVP.
"It is important that U.S. cattle producers and other stakeholders be given the opportunity to hear firsthand the positions of their industry's leaders," he continued. "They deserve, for example, to weigh for themselves the points raised by R-CALFUSA against the counterpoints raised by these other leaders. This clash of opposing views will certainly occur during the debate, and through discourse and discussion each individual watching the debate will be able to discover the truth. A debate such as this is far more beneficial to the entire industry than is the mounting heap of political rhetoric and propaganda...
"It is for this reason that I eagerly accept your invitation on behalf of the members of R-CALFUSA to publicly debate the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the American Meat Institute and the National Meat Association on the issue of the current state of competition in the U.S. cattle and beef industries," his response concludes. "Those with a stake in our U.S. cattle and beef industries deserve nothing less than this firsthand opportunity to decide what is best for their futures."
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALFUSA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALFUSA directors and committee chairs are extremely active unpaid volunteers. R-CALFUSA has dozens of affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.